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Series / The I-Land

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The I-Land is a science fiction miniseries produced by Netflix.

Ten people wake up on a deserted island with no memories of who they are or how they got there. As they start to explore the island, tensions flare up and they soon start to realize that their environment may not be what it seems.


This series provides examples of:

  • 20 Minutes into the Future: The time period of the "outside world" is never stated, but implied to be several decades into the future. Aside from the virtual reality experiment, the prison is outfitted with state of the art-technology such as laser fencing, drone surveillance units, and gravitation fields used to restrain people. Many other features are still the same, especially in terms of fashions.
  • Accidental Murder: It turns out that Chase's mother actually died this way, rather than by deliberate murder. Chase didn't even kill her-her husband was fighting over the gun with her mother, and it went off.
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  • Amnesiac Dissonance: The people on the island are all shocked when they discover their past crimes with the exception of Brody, who was killed off before he could find out. Considering he fell right back into his old habits even after the memory wipe, it's likely he wouldn't have cared anyway.
  • Attempted Rape: When Chase and Brody start to investigate the island, they share a kiss after flirting for a bit. Then Brody tries to force himself on her and she has to fight him off. He lies about it when they return to the group, then later sexually assaults K.C. as well. This makes sense, as his real identity is of a convicted serial rapist and murderer.
  • Autocannibalism: Taylor tries to leave the island in the raft, only to wash up on another deserted island and passing out from the fatigue. When she wakes up, one of her hands is wrapped in bandages and there's a pot of chicken soup left for her by the island's only native. As Bonnie and Clyde later inform her, there are no chickens on the island.
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  • Condemned Contestant: The people chosen to be part of the experiment are all death row inmates, responsible for murder and/or rape. Except for Chase, who was framed for murder by her husband.
  • Casting Gag: Once again, Natalie Martinez finds herself in a futuristic prison game managed by a corrupt warden.
  • Death Row: It turns out that the island characters are really death row inmates being tested in a virtual prison (the experiment specified this, since they were already "irredeemable").
  • Dirty Cop: "Bonnie and Clyde" turn out to be prison guards who gladly accept money in return for torturing or even killing prisoners.
  • Disappeared Dad: Chase's mother makes up the center of her flashbacks. Her father is entirely unmentioned and unseen though.
  • Dwindling Party: The initial group slowly starts to dwindle down as the people fall prey to the island's deadly hazards and each other.
  • Eco-Terrorist: It turns out that Moses was once one. He planted a bomb in an oil pipeline when there was supposedly no one around, but an engineering team showed up unexpectedly to visit. So instead it killed eight people, landing him in prison.
  • Everything Is Big in Texas: The scenes showing the character's pasts before they arrived on the island are explicitly all set in Texas. The Warden of the prison also wears a cowboy hat.
  • Female Misogynist: K.C. states that she has always hated other women.
  • Kudzu Plot: It starts off as a fairly standard survival mystery, but after several episodes of not really doing anything, the characters start wandering off at random, conflicts are either not resolved or just abandoned, and culminating in multiple instances of Dropped a Bridge on Him. Even the final reveal of Chase really being an old woman who was brainwashed to think she was still the same age as when she was locked up just seems mean-spirited after everything she's been through.
  • Mad Love: Donovan is revealed to have a severe obsessive disorder (possibly erotomania), making him fixate on a nearby woman as the "love of his life", even when he's only just met them, up to proposing marriage. Naturally, he soon picks Blair. In the past, it's shown he killed a married co-worker who rejected his advances. For trying to stop him with Blair, he kills Mason as well.
  • Mind Prison: In episode 3, it's revealed that the island is actually a shared simulation developed by the American prison system 20 Minutes into the Future in order to rehabilitate criminals. It's only in its pilot phase, so the programmers are still ironing out the system's faults. It also operates on a non-fixed Year Outside, Hour Inside differential.
  • Murder-Suicide: K.C. killed her sons, and then tried to kill herself, though she survived, ending up in prison.
  • Offing the Offspring: K.C. killed her own sons, then tried to kill herself after her abusive husband threatened to divorce her for cheating on him. Her nickname around the prison is "Kills Children".
  • Older Than They Look: Gabriella Chase, who looks to be in her early thirties, is actually somewhere in her mid- to late-fifties, as her mind has been tampered with to perceive herself as the age she was when she committed the crime she was convicted for. Same goes for her husband, though we don't get to see his "present day" self.
  • Ontological Mystery: Ten people wake up on a tropical island, with no memory of how they got there or who they are. Their only clue is a random sign saying "Find your way back".
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Chase is a short and compact woman, but also a very skilled martial artist capable of taking down men who outweigh her by high margins.
  • Police Brutality: The warden had Chase beaten up while tied to a pole by the guards, as his punishment for her escape attempt. As her legs were free, she still kicked a number of them black and blue in return.
  • Punny Title: The I-Land = The Island.
  • Threatening Shark: The waters around the island are populated with sharks, which almost kill some of the stranded people when they go out for a swim.
  • Spoiler Cover: The island really being a Mind Prison simulation is only revealed several episodes in, but the teaser posters make it pretty obvious anyway.
  • Spree Killer: Mason was put on death row for shooting up a mall in a run-and-gun massacre.
  • Vigilante Man: Hayden was imprisoned because she went around murdering sex offenders as a vigilante killer. This leads to her own death after she kills Brody for assaulting Chase and K.C.
  • Wardens Are Evil: The Warden has been tampering with the results of the program because he believes the criminals are irredeemable, inserting elements into the simulation such as the gun, the cannibal island, and Bonnie and Clyde. He also bribes Chase to keep quiet about it, then later tries to have her killed.
  • Yandere: Donovan at first seems like a friendly, unassuming guy, but is later revealed to be an insane, delusional stalker who becomes massively obsessed with women who showed him the slightest bit of kindness, then murders them or any other man he sees as his rival.
  • Your Cheating Heart: K.C. cheated on her husband, though as he's abusive toward her it's fairly sympathetic.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: The island is just a simulation, but getting killed in there causes your body to die for real. The warden mentions something about the experience being too traumatizing for the brain to handle.

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